Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Barry Good Music
Barry White is one of those musicians that I never really followed too closely because his music was already so ubiquitous, I assumed that I had already heard it all. Sure, I definitely liked some of his stuff a lot and even got down to some greatest hits CD when I lived in Indonesia and was starved of good music. But it wasn't until lately that I realized what a wealth of music he was responsible for beyond his own records.
I have been rocking the Love Unlimited record below for a couple years now and managed to track down the My Sweet Summer Suite 12" a while back, but honestly I was thinking these tracks were just one-offs. Then, more recently, I came across the Gloria Scott record and then the Jay Dee single (also featured on the $20 Worth of Soul Mix and I realized that there really is something to this Barry White dude beyond the hits.
Gloria Scott - What Am I Gonna Do?
This album is awesome! It's kinda like the first Love Unlimited album, but with a more soulful solo female vocalist. Most of the songs are mid-tempo and really emotionally-charged, but man the arrangements and the hooks are sooo good! This is the first track of the disc, but honestly I coulda picked one of 5 others that are just as good. Pick up the reissue CD or LP at dustygroove.
Love Unlimited - I Can't Let Him Down
This is a later Love Unlimited jam that I absolutely love. The intro is soaring and then the beat just drops and the song is on its way. This song shows Barry in a more rare fast-paced groove.
Love Unlimited Orchestra - My Sweet Summer Suite (12" Version)
I initially liked this one for its tropical, cuica-filled intro, but the groove is just great.
Jay Dee - Strange Funky Games and Things
Another Barry White side-project, Jay Dee is a decent singer but what we have here is really just prime Barry White arrangements and playing from Love Unlimited, Barry's ever-present ensemble. I'm sure there are other individuals responsible for these excellent tunes: the Love Unlimited singers, Jay Dee, arrangers such as the legendary Gene Page and Webster Lewis, but the one thing all these tunes have in common is the larger than life . . . Barry White.